How to Plan a Debt-Free Wedding

As many of you know, my wife and I recently got married in August 2016 (read about How It All Began here)  so I decided to write about how we planned our wedding since the details are still fresh in my mind.  It certainly was a learning process for the both of us!  Continue reading to see how we were able to have a debt-free wedding with very little stress along the way. SEARCHING FOR THAT SPECIAL WEDDING VENUE Shortly after the proposal in May 2015 (I think it might have been that same week for my wife!), we started to think about where we might get married.  A good strategy that worked for us involved my wife and her mom spending weekends touring a few of the local venues that seemed appealing.  This helped to narrow down the field of options before I got my feet wet in the search.

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5 Simple Steps to Start a Budget Today

THE BIG SECRET Are you tired of running out of money before the month ends?  Or before the week ends for that matter?  In order to stop this vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, you need to develop a plan for your money.  This plan involves doing a WRITTEN budget, on paper, on purpose, before the month begins.  There’s something powerful about actually writing down your plan.  If you’re one of those people who say “I do my budget in my head,” I can tell without a doubt that you have no clue where your money is going. Many people fear the dreaded “B” word.  How would you describe the word “BUDGET?”  Restrictive?  Time-consuming?  Difficult?  Boring?  A waste of time?  Well I’m here to debunk those myths.  What if I told you a budget is actually freeing because it gives you PERMISSION to spend?  You also don’t need to be

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Get Better Gas Mileage by Ditching Your Car Payment

Hey everyone!  The title of this post is supposed to be a little humorous….the joke being that your car will get better gas mileage if it isn’t being loaded down by those HUGE monthly payments!  But all joking aside, car payments are NEVER a good idea.  I would rather ride a bike everywhere I needed to go before signing up for a car payment.  Let me show you why. THE MATH SUCKS According to Edmunds.com, the average car payment in America is $479 per month.  Over the past few years, auto loan terms have substantially increased from an average of 60 months to 73 months and longer.  For those who are not trained accountants, an important concept to understand is the time value of money. I’m a simple guy, so I like to break down complex topics in order to more easily understand them.  The time value of money can best

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How to Become Debt-Free and Retire a Millionaire

Close your eyes and imagine what it would be like to have no payments in the world.  Take a deep breath and picture how different your life would be if you didn’t spend your ENTIRE life working to make payments to banks.  Think about it.  Let it sink in for a minute.  Have you noticed the tallest buildings in cities are usually banks?  I have.  A few years ago, I discovered the best-selling author and personal finance expert, Dave Ramsey, and began learning his principles for handling money.  This post will outline his common-sense approach to personal finance.  Keep reading if you’d like to discover the steps to take in order to become debt-free and retire a millionaire. WHY? I think it’s very important to start with WHY.  Why go through all the hard work and trouble to get out of debt and force yourself to live on the dreaded B-word (Budget)?

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How It All Began

I first met my lovely wife in 2013.  Like most couples, it took a little while for us to start talking about finances.  When we had that first talk, I quickly learned that she had credit card debt and student loans.  In other words, she was pretty normal when compared to almost everyone else in this department.  I remember when things really began to get serious.  We were watching a movie one night and I nonchalantly mentioned that she should cut up her credit cards and start using cash for purchases.  I believe her first reaction was something like, “No way that’s crazy!  I wouldn’t be able to do that!”  Looking back, I may not have been the most persuasive person in that moment.  I was telling her WHAT she should do, rather than discussing the WHY behind doing these crazy financial things that were so new to her. Well it

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